Thoracic (Chest) Surgery
Thoracic surgery refers to surgery performed on organs and tissues in the chest cavity, such as the lungs or esophagus. When medication or other treatments are not effective, surgery is often recommended to treat a range of conditions such as lung cancer and diseases of the esophagus.
Traditional open surgery to access the chest cavity requires surgeons to make a long incision through the chest wall, known as thoracotomy. In some cases, the surgeon has to cut open the breastbone at the front of the ribcage (known as a sternotomy).
Less invasive options using smaller incisions are available for many patients. Thoracoscopy is video-assisted surgery that uses a miniature camera to help doctors perform the procedure without splitting the breastbone. This approach does have limitations and is often not appropriate for complex procedures.
da Vinci® Thoracic Surgery
If your doctor recommends surgery to treat a thoracic (chest) condition affecting your lungs or esophagus, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive da Vinci Surgery. Using the most advanced technology available, da Vinci Surgery provides your doctor with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.
Because da Vinci Surgery is performed through a few tiny incisions between the ribs, patients avoid both a large incision and the possibility of having their ribs spread.
The da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons and their patients with a minimally invasive treatment option - even for the most complex cases.
da Vinci Surgery offers patients the following potential benefits compared to traditional open surgery:
- Lower rate of complications1,2
- Less blood loss1,2
- Shorter hospital stay1,2,3
- Less pain1,4
- Faster return to normal quality of life4
The da Vinci Systemis a state-of-the-art robotic surgical platform with magnified 3D, high-definition vision designed to take surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. By overcoming the challenges of traditional surgical approaches, da Vinci is changing the experience of surgery for people around the world.
Your doctor controls the da Vinci System, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body. Though it is often called a “robot,” da Vinci cannot act on its own - surgery is performed entirely by your doctor.
Together, da Vinci technology allows your doctor to perform complex procedures through just a few tiny openings. As a result, you may be able to get back to normal activities faster ? without the usual recovery following major surgery.
Physicians have used the da Vinci System successfully worldwide in hundreds of thousands of procedures to date.
To find a da Vinci thoracic surgeon nearest you, use our surgeon locator.
Learn more about da Vinci Thoracic Surgery
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is specific to each patient and procedure. Before you decide on surgery, discuss treatment options with your doctor. Understanding the risks of each treatment can help you make the best decision for your individual situation.
- Cerfolio RJ, Bryant AS, Skylizard L, Minnich DJ. Initial consecutive experience of completely portal robotic pulmonary resection with 4 arms. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011 Oct;142(4):740-6. Epub 2011 Aug 15.
- Weksler B, Tavares J, Newhook TE, Greenleaf CE, Diehl JT. Robot-assisted thymectomy is superior to transsternal thymectomy. Surg Endosc. 2011 Sep 5. [Epub ahead of print].
- Veronesi G, Galetta D, Maisonneuve P, Melfi F, Schmid RA, Borri A, Vannucci F, Spaggiari L. Four-arm robotic lobectomy for the treatment of early-stage lung cancer. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg, 2010;140(1):19-25.
- Balduyck B, Hendriks JM, Lauwers P, Mercelis R, Ten Broecke P, Van Schil P. Quality of life after anterior mediastinal mass resection: a prospective study comparing open with robotic-assisted thoracoscopic resection. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2011 Apr;39(4):543-8. Epub 2010 Sep 17.